August is upon on us and with the warm weather set to continue there is still plenty of opportunities to enjoy the luscious long evenings, but first, there’s work to be done!
Ladybirds are an attractive sight in the garden, they’re also an excellent predator for aphids, including greenfly, blackfly and whitefly. Whenever you see a ladybird soaking up the sun in your garden, move it to the greenhouse, onto your roses, or to any other plant being blighted by pests – they’ll get right to work devouring the aphids and leaving your plants safe from risk.
Speaking of roses, though they may be flourishing, it is important to remember to deadhead them frequently to ensure they are in the best possible position to flower again.
To prevent any plants in your greenhouse becoming scorched through the glass, consider using a shade paint, or placing netting outside of the greenhouse. Another top tip for greenhouses us to apply water to the floor of the greenhouse, in high temperatures this will help to increase humidity.
Lawns! The hot weather has left them looking a little worse for wear – but how can you get it back to health? Like any other plant, your lawn needs to be watered, even more frequently as the temperatures rise. In this temperature, it is best to leave the lawn a little longer than usual but be wary when cutting as you don’t want to stress the grass, particularly after a holiday when the grass has been allowed to grow for longer than usual. Try only removing one third of the length of the blade, giving a lighter cut a week or so later until you reach the desired length. To help get the lawns back to health, I would also recommend a feed and weed treatment, with will bring new life to the grass whilst killing off any weeds.
You may have noticed some of your potted plants struggling to take in water. Compost can before bone dry in smaller pots and water will run right off. Consider placing your pots in a bath of water and allowing it to soak for a little while.
If you’re jetting off on holiday but haven’t found anyone to care for your plants in your absence, then consider investing in one of the many automatic watering devices available – examples include watering mats, micro-drip systems, watering spikes, and drip feeders.
Finally, don’t forget to sit out and enjoy this lovely weather, after all we don’t know how long this weather will last.
JASON IS A PROFESSIONAL GARDENER AND LANDSCAPER, AND OWNER OF JHPS-GARDENS LTD.
HE REGULARLY WRITES A PIECE FOR OUR WEBSITE, PLUS THE SENTINEL NEWSPAPER,
AND IS A GO TO EXPERT ON BBC RADIO STOKE’S GARDENING PROGRAMME.